Turbo Leadership Systems

Phone: (503) 625-1867 • Fax: (503) 625-2699 • email: admin@turbols.com
Issue 69 To our clients and friends December 6, 2005
It’s All Downhill
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Facing our fears helps us believe in ourselves.

Katherine, accounting manager for a major general contractor in the greater Seattle area, told Session 3B of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

“Several years ago my husband, Mark, gave me skiing lessons for Christmas. Being less than the adventurous type, I said ‘thank you’ but did not really mean it. Mark knew I was very nervous about trying something this athletic and worked hard to encourage me. A few years earlier I had learned to scuba dive because of his persistence and loved it, so I thought I would give skiing a try.

The first six lessons went great. We did very little actual skiing that first night, but what we did build was my confidence. The second night we went up the rope tow and again I surprised myself and did just fine. The third week I decided I would go up before class started and practice the lessons from the prior week. Suddenly coming down the hill, I lost control and knew I had to stop my rapid descent somehow before hitting the rope tow and the people on it. In my panic I fell down on purpose. I hit the ground so hard it made me cry. Off came the skis and down the hill to the lodge I went, declaring I would never ski again!

When I got home and told my husband the story and that I was done with skiing, he kept talking to me and encouraging me to give it just one more try. Finally I gave in and said yes, I would try one more time.

Week four came and I was a

nervous wreck. We went back up the rope tow and the things I could easily do the second week were impossible for me now. I pushed through the lesson and we headed to the chair lift. Of course, I fell all night and everything was so hard to do, but I made it through without falling too hard and decided to come back the next week. During the next couple of lessons, I came early and went up the little baby rope tow to practice my turns to build my confidence. By the end of the lessons, I was skiing the beginner slope and actually having a great time.

I skied for several years after that and was nervous every minute I was on the hill but also found it thrilling.

One of the lessons I learned from skiing is how much my ability to perform in life is based on my belief in myself. If I believe I can do something, then most of the time I can. If I feel defeated before I start, everything is always so much harder.

The action I call you to take in work and in life is to realize that you have to stretch beyond your comfort zone, experience facing your fears, be willing to struggle through a situation to reach your higher goals. Be willing to listen to those closest to you who are encouraging you to try.

The benefit you will gain is many successes in life and work and the great feeling of accomplishment when you master a hard task or assignment. Happy skiing!”